Cowboys revert to Hayne plan
Cowboys coach Paul Green expects an invigorated Jarryd Hayne to try and ramp things up at home this Friday night against a North Queensland side that handed Parramatta a 28-point loss in Townsville just six weeks ago.
While it was revealed after the Round 8 encounter that Hayne was playing through injury, Green was pleased with how his side nullified the competition's most in-form player and expects much the same effort from his troops this Friday.
Amidst a month of hot form where he scored doubles in the game prior and the two games following, the Cowboys kept Hayne to just two tackle-breaks, forced him into making four errors and restricted him to 143 running metres, his fourth-lowest output of the season.
"I thought we did a really good job on Jarryd Hayne last time and I also thought a couple of their guys who are good at getting metres through the middle, I thought we contained them really well. [Semi] Radradra and [Tim] Mannah and those sorts of guys so nothing changes from that point of view," Green said.
"[Hayne] can do just about everything. He can run, he can pass, he can kick so you don't really know what is going to come at you, so that is probably the biggest thing plus he's a big guy and a physical guy as well so he ticks all the boxes from that point of view, but we contained him well last time.
"We'll certainly have our hands full because he's in great form and full of confidence but we'll be able to do it again."
While having won the past four meetings against Parramatta, the odds are well and truly stacked against the Cowboys this time around, having not won a single away game all season while Parramatta have successfully defended their home fortress in each of five occasions thus far this season.
However, Green says his charges will approach this game like any other in a very hostile and challenging environment.
"This is another game and it's important that we prepare for that game whether it's at home or away, it makes no difference," he said. "The reason why you win games at home is no different to when you're away from here so it's important that we focus on the things that we need to be good at and the result will look after itself whether you're at home or away.
"We've tinkered with our away prep given the travel commitments around that and so we're constantly just looking for that routine that works for us."
While looking forward to Friday's game against the Eels, Green is still hung up on the four tries that were disallowed by upstairs officials last week, saying he aired his grievances with referees boss Tony Archer during the week.
"A couple of contentious decisions around the video ref last week so even though we won 22-0, it could have easily been more," said Green, who was left perplexed not for the first time this season.
"Matt Scott's try was a try and also Matt Wright's try as well, so given that going into Parramatta Stadium is a pretty hostile environment for away teams, hopefully we'll get a bit of luck from that point of view this week.
"I had a conversation with Tony Archer about that and we agreed on one and probably agreed to disagree on another, but all the coaches want is consistency and hopefully we'll get that this week."
Travelling into a known fortress, Green is aware of the effect Parramatta's crowd can have on the influence of certain on-field refereeing decisions, but is hopeful there won't be any external influence this Friday.
"[The home crowd advantage] helps but if you ask the refs, they always say 'no', (the crowd) don't let the refs influence them but [the Eels crowd] are always booing for offside or holding guys down so they're only human."
Meanwhile the Cowboys, upon recommendation from recruitment chief Clint Zammit, have inked former Gold Coast Titans under-20s and current Intrust Super Cup second-rower Kyle McConnell to a contract from 2015.